Doctors baffled as HIV man ‘cures’ himself
A MAN who tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes Aids, has subsequently shown up negative for the disease in a case that has mystified doctors.
It was claimed last night that Andrew Stimpson, 25, may have shaken off the virus with his own immune system after contracting HIV in 2002.
If proved, the NHS has said the case would be “medically remarkable”. It could provide vital information to researchers looking into treatments for HIV and Aids, which has killed about 3,800 people in Britain since the 1980s.
The worldwide annual death toll is more than 3m.
The Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS trust, which treated Stimpson, has said he needs to undergo more tests before it can be established how he apparently conquered HIV.
“These tests were accurate and they were his, but what we don’t know at the moment is why that has happened, and we want him to come back in for more tests,” said a spokeswoman. “It is potentially a fantastic thing.”
Stimpson was tested three times in August 2002 at the Victoria clinic for sexual health in central London and the results showed he was producing HIV antibodies to fight the disease.
Stimpson, originally from Largs in Ayrshire, contracted the virus from his boyfriend, Juan Gomez, 44. He began taking vitamins and other dietary supplements to keep his body healthy in the hopes that this might fend off the development of full-blown Aids.
In October 2003, after impressing doctors with his good health, Stimpson was offered a new test, which came back negative. Further tests in December 2003 and March last year also proved negative.
“It was the last thing I expected. I was astonished. I was baffled too,” he told the News of the World. “I couldn’t understand how anyone could cure themselves of HIV . . . I thought it had to be wrong because no one can recover from HIV, it just doesn’t happen.”
The tests were re-checked by the Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust when Stimpson threatened litigation believing there must be a mistake, but the results confirmed all the tests had been accurate.
In a letter understood to be from the NHS Litigation Authority in October this year, Stimpson was told: “The fact you have recovered from a positive antibody result to a negative result is exceptional and medically remarkable.”
The trust said there had been several other cases of claimed “spontaneous clearance” of the virus worldwide, although it is not believed any have been proved. A spokeswoman added that the trust had urged Stimpson to return for tests, but that so far he had not done so.
Last Update: Sunday, November 13, 2005. 1:00pm (AEDT)
Hospital to investigate man's HIV 'recovery'
A London hospital will carry out tests to investigate how a British man who was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2002, recovered from the virus the following year.
If this is confirmed by further tests, the man, Andrew Stimpson, will be the first person to have proved to be completely cured of the virus.
There have been anecdotal accounts before of people shaking off the HIV virus.
But the evidence in this case, as reported by British newspapers, appears to be conclusive.
Mr Stimpson says he feels completely blessed.
He became depressed and suicidal after he was told he was HIV positive, but he remained well and did not require medication.
Fourteen months later, doctors offered him another test, which came back negative.
He sought compensation, but has apparently been told there is no case to answer, because there was no fault with the testing procedure.
British man 'recovered from HIV'
Doctors are planning further tests on a 25-year-old British man whose body has reportedly cured itself of HIV.
Two Sunday newspapers report that Andrew Stimpson, who lives in London, was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 2002 but found to be clear in October 2003.
Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust, which carried out the tests, has asked him to undergo more. Mr Stimpson did not take any medication for HIV.
HIV experts say his case could help to reveal more about the disease.
"I think I'm one of the luckiest people alive "
There have been anecdotal accounts before from Africa of people shaking off the HIV virus, but the evidence in this case, as reported in the News of the World and the Mail on Sunday, appears to be conclusive, BBC health correspondent Adam Brimelow said.
Mr Stimpson, who is originally from Largs in Ayrshire, said: "There are 34.9 million people with HIV globally and I am just one person who managed to control it, to survive from it and to get rid of it from my body.
"For me that is unbelievable - it is a miracle. I think I'm one of the luckiest people alive."
Mr Stimpson told the newspapers that he became depressed and suicidal after being told he was HIV-positive but remained well and did not require medication.
Some 14 months later he was offered another test by doctors, which came back negative.
He sought compensation but has apparently been told there is no case to answer because there was no fault with the testing procedure.
Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare Trust have asked to conduct more tests on Mr Stimpson both for his benefit and for other patients.
He has told the papers he would do anything he could to help find a cure.
Aids expert Dr Patrick Dixon, from international Aids group Acet, said the case was "very, very unusual".
"I've come across many anecdotal reports of this kind of thing happening in Africa, some quite recently, but it's difficult to verify them," he told BBC News 24.
"You have to be rock-solid sure that both samples came from the same person, no mix-up in the laboratory, no mistakes in the testing, etc.
"This is the first well-documented case."
He said the case was important because "inside his immune system is perhaps a key that could allow us to develop some kind of vaccine".
Please let this be true and not some assholes idea of an internet hoax